Sunday, December 18, 2005

Politics: Exclusion: Green Party excluded from leaders' debate by Canada's media bosses

Again, a sphere of society whose institutions (TV corporations and stations) have acquired the responsiblity to broadcast debates of political-party leaders in the course of national election campaigns for the Federal Parliament's House of Commons (the Senate of course is composed of appointees), has arbitrarily trimmed the list. A whole regiment of appointed Senators, an important Federal election for a new Commons, and still the media slice off a most important fringe party that could possibly win a seat somewhere for the first time, but even aside from that has the most important new ideas on a number of issues that no other party is willing to face up to. I should like a party with the guts to say the entire automative industry in Canada must gear over to making non-fossil fuelled vehicles, and none of the other kind can in future be imported here. The air quality, at least in the big cities, is murderous, mostly as a result of the pollution generated by our own vehicles. We spend all this money on health, but permit these hi levels of pollution that are the main cause of urban killer air.

The big media do not want even a small consistent voice cutting thru the cacophany of the four parties which still remain bedevilled by regionalism. Let me construct an extreme metaphor: A voter in Ontario or New Brunswick or Saint Boniface can't vote for the Bloc Quebecois - why not? We need voting on a national basis for every party that manages to get on the representation list. Proportional representation. In that case, watch the Green Party sprout up to a hefty 10% of the national vote with 10% of the seats in the Commons.

I like the ideas expressed by the Canadian Democratic Movement, whose site I stumbled upon and about which movement I otherwise know very little. But I indeed liked this thawt:

What could be healthier for this nation than to have more voices included? Make the debates longer in length. If people care, they will listen. The media and citizenry at large will have more to discuss and ponder that way.

The mainstream media is already doing a dreadful job this election as most elections on covering the other parties. This sets them behind the 8-ball every time. With parties like the Christian Heritage Party and the Canadian Action Party failing to meet the two-percent rule for [gain of] funding [from the Federal govt], national exposure would do so much for helping get their messages out to Canadians.

Canadians this election season will sadly be inundated with the same old same old. You will hear plenty about what Martin said of Harper, and of Harper about Layton etc., but what you won't hear is what 657,830 Canadians actually voted for (total votes for parties without seats).

Democracy is about participation, not exclusion. So let's hear from Fogal, Harris, Grey and the others. Is that too much to ask?

The Canadian Democratic Movement calls for an immediate overhaul of the broadcast consortium including the decision making process, and in the future allow Elections Canada to oversee the debates. As well, at minimum for this election, we call for equal debates to be held for the other registered federal political parties.

Strange to say, but Iraq now has a much more democratic electoral process for representation in its Parliament than does Canada. - Politicarp

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